10 Quotes of Jesse Livermore

When seasoned traders get together, we have a sort of “secret handshake” that the uninitiated may not notice.  We ask each other if they’ve read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.  The insiders reply by telling you the number of times they’ve read the book.  Novices ask for the author’s name.

Recently, I’ve been rereading Jon Markman’s wonderful annotated version of this Jesse Livermore classic.  This special edition even has a forward written by Paul Tudor Jones.  As I revisited Mr. Livermore’s wisdom, I realized that so much of the trading baton that I’ve endeavored to pass on to my readers is directly or indirectly the result of the special batons he passed on to me.  In considering this, I feel it’s only appropriate to salute the man.  Afterall, I have patterned myself after him and my favorite quotes come from this truly extraordinary trader.  As Dr. George Lane, the creator of the stochastic oscillator, once told me over dinner, “Gatis, you can never get enough of that good stuff.” 

My trading approach is organized into 10 stages that I call Tensile Trading.  For this week’s blog, I’ve chosen a few of my favorite Jesse Livermore quotes for each of these 10 stages.
1. Money Management:
    * “I trade on my own information and follow my own methods.”
    * “The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses on Wall Street, even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages.”

2. Business of Investing:
    * “I believe that anyone who is intelligent, conscientious, and willing to put in the necessary time can be successful on Wall Street.  As long as they realize the market is a business like any other business, they have a good chance to prosper.”
3. The Investor Self:
    * “My satisfaction always came from beating the market, solving the puzzle.  The money was the reward, but it was not the main reason I loved the market.  The stock market is the greatest, most complex puzzle ever invented – and it pays the biggest jackpot…it was never the money that drove me.  It was the game, solving the puzzle, beating the market that had confused and confounded the greatest minds in history.  For me, that passion, the juice, the exhilaration was in beating the game, a game that was a living dynamic riddle…” (more…)

Livermore quotes

Jesse_Livermore_quotesLivermore on irationality

Trying to figure out the “why” of amarket move can often cause great emotional strife. The simple fact is, the market always precedes economic news, it does not react to economic news. The market lives and operates in future time.

 
Livermore on knowing yourself

It is my conclusion that playing the market is partly an art form, it is not just pure reason. If it were pure reason, then somebody would have figured it out long ago. That’s why I believe every speculator must analyze his own emotions to find out just what stress level he can endure. Every speculator is different, every human psyche is unique, every personality exclusive to an individual. Learn your own emotional limits before attempting to speculate, that is my advice to any one who has ever asked me what makes a successful speculator. If you can’t sleep at night, because of your stock market position than you have gone too far, if this is the case then sell your position down to the sleeping level. (more…)

Secrets of Jesse Livermore

1. Money Management:
    * “I trade on my own information and follow my own methods.”
    * “The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses on Wall Street, even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages.”

2. Business of Investing:
    * “I believe that anyone who is intelligent, conscientious, and willing to put in the necessary time can be successful on Wall Street.  As long as they realize the market is a business like any other business, they have a good chance to prosper.”
3. The Investor Self:
    * “My satisfaction always came from beating the market, solving the puzzle.  The money was the reward, but it was not the main reason I loved the market.  The stock market is the greatest, most complex puzzle ever invented – and it pays the biggest jackpot…it was never the money that drove me.  It was the game, solving the puzzle, beating the market that had confused and confounded the greatest minds in history.  For me, that passion, the juice, the exhilaration was in beating the game, a game that was a living dynamic riddle…”
4. Market Analysis:
    * “What beat me was not having the brains enough to stick to my own game – that is, to play the market only when I was satisfied that precedents favored my play.”
    * “It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant mind.”

5. Routines:
    * “It is what people actually did in the stock market that counted – not what they said they were going to do.”
    * “The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world.  But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance, or the get-rich-quick adventurer.  They will die poor.” (more…)
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